The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has set an ambitious target to more than double the number of companies listed on the local bourse by the next five years.
Currently, there are 40 companies listed on the GSE, including telecommunication giant, MTN Ghana, providing local ownership of the company.
MrEkowAfedzie, Managing Director of GSE, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, after the GSE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) for the two entities to collaborate to drive investors to list on the GSE.
Under the MoU, GIPC would encourage companies which invested in the country to list and use the Accra bourse to raise capital as part of efforts to boost the stock and equity markets in the country.
“Our objective to is get about 100 companies to list on the GSE by the next five years in our drive to position the GSE as the preferred platform for the raising of capital in West Africa,” MrAfedzie said.
To this end, he said the GSE was in discussions with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to encourage their members to list on the GSE.
“We are also stepping up education to get a lot of Ghanaians and companies to list on the GSE, MrAfedzie, stated.
On the MoU, the MD of the GSE said it formed part of measures to transform the GSE from frontier to emerging market, stressing the current total market capitalisation of the GSE stood at GH¢64 billion, representing fourteen percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
He said the equities market was an important avenue to develop the country, stressing the Western countries relied on the equities market to develop their economies.
“Without the equities market the country cannot develop. The Equities market create opportunity for companies to raise long-term capital instead of loans or debt capital to expand their businesses,” he said.
MrAfedzie suggested that more of pension funds should be invested in the equities market, saying only three per cent of pension funds were invested in equities, saying this makes it difficult for companies to raise long-term capital to finance their business operations.
Mr Yofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, said the GSE served a veritable platform for savings and wealth creation, stressing that savings also helped to create investment.
“GIPC will work with GSE to optimise the opportunities that exist in the market for businesses to raise capital to finance their business operations,” he said.
MrYofiGrant pledged that the GIPC would “carry GSE in all our endeavours,” to get more companies to list on the Accra bourse, stressing that “the future looks bright.”
Mr Yofi commended the GSE for working with the Enterprise Singapore to attract more Asian investors to the Ghanaian market.
The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reverend Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, said he was excited about the partnership to deepen stock market in the country.
He said the partnership would boost the confidence in the market to attract more portfolio investors.
Mr Daniel Nuer, the Head of the Tax Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance, said the government was happy that the initiative would help to attract more capital into the country and grow the economy.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE